Icelandic Glacial last night took the top environmental prize at this year’s BottledWaterWorld awards in Mexico City, Mexico. Winners of the Best Sustainability Initiative, Icelandic Glacial’s successful industry leading CarbonNeutral initiative overcame competition from major global beverage brands such as Coca-Cola and Nestle.
Larger than ever before, the 2007 BottledWaterWorld awards were presented at the 4th Global Bottled Water Congress and attracted a record 169 entries from 32 countries. The global awards recognize all areas of commercial creativity in the bottled water industry from best marketing campaign through to best packaging innovation.
With the theme of this year’s event being centered on sustainable growth and ethical endeavors, Icelandic Glacial trumped all competition, including the biggest names in the beverage world to take this flagship award.
The sustainability award recognizes efforts that range from lightweighting to energy efficiency and from recycling efforts to eco-friendly projects, with the award going to the company who is delivering the most significant environmental benefit.
Coca-Cola, Nestle and Damamand Water were all entrants in this category, however Icelandic Glacial’s CarbonNeutral initiative, which resulted in certification from the leading climate change company, really took the industry by storm and made Icelandic Glacial the first super-premium bottled water distributed in the United States to be recognized for its ongoing commitment to reduce its overall carbon imprint on the environment.
“Icelandic Glacial is absolutely delighted to receive this award and be recognized for our ongoing commitment to environmentally friendly business practices. We hope that others within the industry will follow in our footsteps and take active steps to create a better environment and a better world,” says Jon Olafsson, Chairman of Icelandic Glacial.
At a time when the bottled water industry has recently been subjected to criticism related to its overall impact on the environment and contributions to global warming, Icelandic Glacial’s leadership position within the industry and reduction in overall impact on the environment through geothermal and hydroelectric manufacturing practices has certainly made a positive impact – setting the benchmark for others within the industry to follow.
As part of the Bottled Water Congress, Patrick Racz, chief operating officer of Icelandic Water Holdings, also presented information outlining the process Icelandic Glacial went through to achieve genuine carbon neutrality.
“Icelandic Glacial has always been viewed as an environmentally responsible producer of bottled water, largely through our sole usage of natural “green” energy. In 2006 we made a decision to go fully CarbonNeutral with the stated goal of achieving a “Net Zero” effect on the environment,” says Patrick Racz, COO of Icelandic Glacial. “Now that we have met our initial goal, we look to take a prominent leading role in the fight against global warming and to also set a new standard for the industry to follow.”
Recent developments such as the Anheuser-Busch distribution agreement and the groundbreaking of the new bottling facility in Thorlakshofn, Iceland are set to further enhance Icelandic Glacial’s environmental efforts in 2008, creating an even “greener” bottled water from the natural and breathtaking Ölfus Spring in Iceland.
“The distribution agreement with Anheuser-Busch certainly opens up new doors for us moving into 2008,” says Olafsson. “We plan to build on our current environmental platform, improving and developing even further – it really is an exciting time.”
Icelandic Glacial has made a longstanding environmental commitment in the following three areas for others within the industry to follow: